Lewes History Group: Bulletin 132, July 2021

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  1. Next Meeting: 12 July 2021, Marcus Taylor ‘Southover Church: 900 years of Change’
  2. Edmund Middleton’s Trade Token
  3. Lewes news 250 years ago
  4. Victor Amedee Raymond’s School (by Richard Saville)
  5. Rev Arthur Iredell, Rector of Southover 1791-1804
  6. Priory School Chapel Trust (by David Arnold)
  7. A Straying Donkey
  8. Speed Trials at Lewes Racecourse (by Ron Gordon)
  9. Smith’s Fire, Lewes High Street, 1907
  10. Chair’s update (by Neil Merchant)


  1. Next Meeting        7.30 p.m.           Monday 12 July
    Marcus Taylor                      Southover Church: 900 years of Change

All English parish churches have seen changes over time – great or small, enforced or consensual – but today the evidence of them is often hard to see. Starting as a hospitium or Guest House for Lewes Priory, in the later 13th century Southover became a parish church to meet the needs of those who served the priory and lived nearby. Marcus Taylor outlines the way in which the building has adapted and grown over the years and explains how these changes have mainly been in response to the needs and priorities of the time. He also introduces some significant people in this process and relates some associated stories along the way: a dramatic unearthing of ancient bodies and a Victorian riot – in sleepy Southover? Surely not…..

This meeting will again be a Zoom webinar, and to attend you must register in advance. You will then be able to join the meeting from 7.20 pm. LHG members will be sent a link to register directly: non-members will need to purchase registration via https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/lhg.

Southover Church from south, by Jeremy Long
A modern painting by Jeremy Long, owned by the church


  1. Edmund Middleton’s Trade Token

Trade tokens issued at Lewes by Ambrose Galloway in 1667 and Richard White in 1668 were featured in Bulletins nos. 116 and 113 respectively. Another similar token issued at Lewes in 1666 by Edmund Middleton and his wife Easter (or Esther) was offered for sale on ebay recently. The British Museum collection also has an example. The catalogue entry identifies the coat of arms shown on the reverse as that of the Haberdashers’ Company.

Edmund Middleton's trade token, front, reverse

Edmund Middleton was a member of a prominent Horsham family with extensive interests in the Wealden iron industry. He was probably a grandson of the ironmaster John Middleton (who died in 1636), MP for Horsham from 1614 to 1629, and a nephew of John’s eldest son Thomas Middleton, JP and MP for Horsham from 1640. During the civil war Thomas Middleton was nominally a Parliamentarian, but exposed as a crypto-Royalist by an abortive 1648 rising at Horsham. He was then removed from the bench and his estates suffered sequestration, but he returned to Parliament to represent Horsham between the Restoration and his 1662 death.

In 1659 Edmund Middleton, citizen and haberdasher of London, was a trustee for a Hamsey property inherited by Francis Middleton of Chailey, gent, son of Arthur Middleton of Horsham, gent. Francis Middleton may well have been Edmund’s eldest brother. Edmund married Easter Robarts at St Mary Abchurch, in the city of London on 27 December 1658 and in 1662 he moved to Lewes, establishing a business as a mercer at 38 High Street, a house with 5 hearths. In 1678 the parson Giles Moore purchased Devonshire cloth from him for a doublet and breeches. Edmund and his wife Easter had two daughters baptised at All Saints church in 1664 (Ann) and 1669 (Esther). He owned 38 High Street, which by his 1691 will be bequeathed to his wife for life and then to his daughter Ann. He had other properties in Lewes, including 27-30 High Street, that were inherited by his son, a Southwark gentleman by the time they were sold in 1724. Edmund Middleton of Lewes, haberdasher, was a party to the disentailing of the manors of Newick and Westmeston in 1683. By 1685 his house at 38 High Street was rented to another woollendraper. In his will he described himself as a Newick gentleman, and he was of Newick when buried at Chailey in 1692/3.

Colin Brent has identified him as one of the Tory and Anglican activists who in the years after the Restoration wrested control of Lewes Borough from the non-conformists who had dominated it during the Commonwealth. He was regularly a member of the Twelve, and was elected constable in 1665, 1672 & 1678. In 1684 Edmund Middleton was one of the Grand Jury who presented lists of local dissenters and others ill-affected to the government who should be required to give security for good behaviour after the suppression of Monmouth’s rebellion against James II.

Sources: Anthony Fletcher, ‘A County Community in Peace and War: Sussex 160-1660’ (1975); Familysearch website; Hamsey tenement records available at www.bandhpast.co.uk; Colin Brent, Lewes House Histories; ESRO SAS/M 579; Lewes Town Book; ESRO QR 226/48-50; Colin Brent, SAC vol.121, 95-107, ‘The Neutering of the Fellowship and the emergence of a Tory party in Lewes, 1663-1688’; his will is ESRO PBT 1/1/41/63B.


  1. Lewes news 250 years ago

From the 5 January 1771 Kentish Gazette: Mr Charles Harben of Lewes had brought to the George in Canterbury High Street two most surprising Eagles, both taken alive in Sussex in 1769. An amazing Golden Eagle of enormous size had been taken near Horsham, and his wings when extended were upwards of nine feet. The second was an Osprey or Sea Eagle taken on Ashdown Forest by the gamekeeper or warrener of the Duke of Dorset. The wings of this dark brown bird extended to almost eight feet. His claws were as long as a man’s finger, but he was so gentle as to be handled by any person without danger. They were to stay in Canterbury for only five days. The prices for gentlemen and ladies were left to their honour, but for servants and working people one penny each. Gentlemen and ladies could be accommodated with a sight of them at their own houses by giving notice.

From the 26 January 1771 Kentish Gazette: Dr Dickinson’s White and Red Cephalic Drops, that had provided extraordinary cures for Convulsion, Fits, the Falling Sickness, Apoplexy, Palsy and were so serviceable against the Small Pox, were available at 5 shillings the bottle from Messrs Baldy and Lambert at Lewes. The Red Drops were particularly adapted to Convulsion and Fits in children. The drops were recommended by the late Archbishop Wake.

From the 27 July 1771 Kentish Gazette: At Lewes Races, which ended on the previous Saturday, Mr Sparrow’s ‘Minor’ had won the King’s Plate on Thursday, beating Mr Salt’s ‘Cicero’. For the Sussex Plate on Friday Sir Ferdinand Poole won at three heats, beating five others. For the fifty pounds on Saturday Mr Salt’s ‘Cicero’ had beaten Mr Bishop’s ‘Brutus’ and Mr Adam’s chestnut mare, winning both heats.

From the 27 August 1771 Kentish Gazette: “On Thursday last was married at Brookland Thomas Kemp Esq of Lewes to Miss Read, daughter of Henry Read Esq of Brookland, with an elegant sufficiency and the most genteel accomplishments. The above gentleman and lady are now embarked with the prospect of a perpetual calm, and of all that happiness which must naturally flow from the union of sympathetic souls.”

From the 23 September 1771 Reading Mercury: Leake’s justly famous pill, one small pill of which was well known for curing the venereal disease, was available from Mr Araunah Verral, bookseller, Lewes.

From the 7 December 1771 Kentish Gazette: On Thursday last one of the Jews, an engraver, supposed to belong to the gang of housebreakers, was taken up at Lewes, and carried to Sir John Fielding’s. [Sir John Fielding, brother of the author Henry Fielding, was the magistrate at the Old Bailey].

From the 17 December 1771 Kentish Gazette: Stern’s Balsamic Aether, an easy, expeditious and effectual cure for Consumption, Asthmas, Coughs, Colds, Horseness, Sore Throats and every other disease of the Breast, Throat or Mouth was available at six shillings a bottle, together with the pamphlet entitled Dr Stern’s Medical Advice to the Consumptive and Asthmatic People of England (tenth edition) was available from Verrall at Lewes, and most of the principal booksellers of England. Frequent application of this medicine would afford the patient suffering from the Small-Pox, Measles and Pleurisies more relief than all other medicines whatsoever.


  1. Victor Amedee Raymond’s School             (by Richard Saville)

Further to the interesting piece in Bulletin no.131 on the assault on Victor Amedee Raymond, the Swiss schoolmaster in Lewes, I notice there is a lengthy reference to the school’s curriculum and other matters in pages 172-174 of John Caffyn’s ‘Sussex Schools in the Eighteenth Century’, published as Sussex Record Society volume 81. This was an interesting school, which apparently survived through the French Revolution and into the early nineteenth century.


  1. Rev Arthur Iredell, Rector of Southover 1791-1804

Arthur Iredell was appointed both rector of Southover and rector of Newhaven in 1791. The advowsons of both rectories were in the hands of the Crown. He retained both livings until his death in Jamaica in 1804. He is also identified as perpetual curate of South Malling at dates between 1788 and 1799, and he was curate at Glynde between 1796 and 1799. Simultaneous possession of more than one Lewes living was quite common because their incomes were small, and Glynde and South Malling were frequently held together in the 18th century. A clergyman could hold a morning service in one church followed by an afternoon service in another reasonably nearby, but it would not have been possible for one man to serve all these four parishes.

Arthur Iredell was baptised at Bridge Street Independent Chapel, Bristol, on 30 January 1758, so was in his early thirties when appointed to his two Sussex livings. His father Francis Iredell was described as a Bristol merchant at his 1750 marriage, and his paternal grandfather, Rev Francis Iredell, was an Irish Presbyterian minister who merits an entry in the Dictionary of National Biography. His parents had eight children, seven sons and a daughter, baptised at Bridge Street Independent Chapel between 1751 and 1765, though it appears there was also a ninth child. Child mortality was high, and Arthur was the fourth of the five brothers who survived to adulthood.

The career of Arthur’s father, Francis Iredell’s as a Bristol merchant does not appear to have been a very successful one, and when he was laid low by a paralytic stroke, his large family was placed in a desperate situation. In such circumstances the wider family had to step in to help. A common form of help was utilising family ‘interest’ to obtain a government office – if at all possible an office that carried a high salary but required few if any actual duties. Francis Iredell’s father had died in Dublin in 1739. Francis had a bachelor brother, Thomas Iredell, who lived in Jamaica, but he seems to have been unable to help at this stage. However, through his mother Francis Iredell was a relation of Sir George Macartney, an Irishman of ability and seniority in the government’s military establishment, and it was through his interest that a rescue was hoped for. Catching the attention of such a busy and influential man was of course a problem – such men would discover they had many indigent relations seeking their help. Eventually Francis Iredell was found a suitable sinecure, but that income ended when he died following a second stroke in 1773.

An immediate solution to the family’s problems in 1768 was to take advantage of the interest of Frances Iredell’s wife Margaret’s family to place the family’s eldest son in the government service in North Carolina. Margaret Iredell’s uncle, a merchant from Ireland with the gift of the gab, had persuaded the government that it would be to its advantage to grant him a million acres of land in North Carolina, on which he would settle Irish and Scottish Presbyterian families, whose taxes would greatly augment the Crown income. The uncle had placed his own son, Margaret Iredell’s cousin, as collector of government revenue there, and the cousin had in his gift a position in the excise at the North Carolina port of Edenton to which the 17 year old James Iredell was duly appointed. James was assured there was limited work involved in his new position, so that he would be able to use his abilities to develop other opportunities. Perhaps this was true. What was not mentioned was that very soon after James arrived in Edenton his patron returned to England, leaving him with all the duties of his much more senior post as well.

The teenage James Iredell proved an able, ambitious, assiduous and determined young man, who impressed his new neighbours. He impressed especially the chief man of influence in Edenton, with whom he trained in the law, and whose sister he married. Despite being a Crown employee, James joined his patron amongst the leaders of the opposition developing in the American colonies to the imposition of arbitrary taxes such as that on tea, and in the War of Independence he was firmly on the colonists’ side. The impression he made was such that when George Washington became the first president of the independent USA he appointed James Iredell as one of the first justices of the new US Supreme Court. A point of interest is that James Iredell’s entry in the Dictionary of National Biography and his several biographies all give his birthplace as Lewes, despite his baptism being recorded in Bristol. He certainly knew the works of Thomas Paine, and is recorded as having regarded his book ‘Common Sense’ as having merit. However, I have found no evidence to confirm any connection between the future Supreme Court judge and Lewes.

James Iredell kept an archive of his correspondence from his arrival in North Carolina in 1768 until his death in 1799, including that with his family in England and Jamaica. This included regular letters to and from his parents and his younger siblings, including Arthur, and it is from this source that we learn many of the details of Arthur Iredell’s life. Because of James Iredell’s significant role in the struggle for independence, most of this archive has been published (the first two volumes in 1976 and a third in 2003). The final volume, covering the period when Arthur Iredell held his Southover rectory, unfortunately remains a work in progress. As far as the family material is concerned there is also a long gap between 1776 and 1782, during the War of Independence, when correspondence between James Iredell in America and the rest of his family was impossible.

From this source we learn how the Iredell family managed. In 1769 they moved from Bristol to Bath, where Francis & Margaret Iredell seem to have run a boarding house for fashionable visitors. The second son, promised a cadet role in the Indian Army that failed to materialise, was then found a clerk’s post at £60 p.a. with the Royal African Company. Despatched to West Africa in 1771 aged 19, he was dead within a year. The next son was found a position as a midshipman in the Royal Navy, and gained promotion to Lieutenant before being killed in 1782 in an action against the French fought off the coast of India. The youngest son was also found a position in the Marines, but faced poor prospects after peace was declared in 1782. After an international family discussion, he resigned his commission and emigrated to North Carolina, to study law under his now-established brother James. He was, however, firmly enjoined not to tell anyone in North Carolina that he had been a British army officer – that would not go down well.

Arthur Iredell, however, followed a different route. In 1771, aged 13, he received an offer from serjeant-at-law William Kempe, whose country home was Malling Deanery, to enter his service as a clerk. In this role he would assist the senior barrister in his duties, living with his family, whether they were in their London house or at South Malling, and also be taught Latin and Greek as well as the law. His father was to provide him with clothing, but he would have the opportunity to earn £50 p.a. ‘from briefs’, so would soon be independent. Arthur enjoyed and thrived in his new role, though he expressed with some surprise “Cheating is esteemed a great quality in the legal profession”. In 1775, aged 17, his duties included accompanying Mrs Kempe to Bath for a fortnight. In one of his 1775 letters to his brother James Iredell, written throughout in the tone of a facetious teenager, he asks whether James’s wife has joined her sisters in boycotting tea. This letter is very widely quoted in academic accounts of the events that led to American independence as evidence of the British public’s arrogance in the face of American opposition to the new taxation policies.

Arthur’s uncle in Jamaica expressed concern to James Iredell as to how well this apprenticeship was preparing Arthur for a future career. He wrote in 1774: “I do not know well what footing Arthur is with Sergeant Kemp – I think in a letter I received from home it was said he was to be entered in the Temple – but as bringing up a Lad a barrister who has no Fortune and where the greatest Abilities will hardly procure a support appears to me a scheme too hazardous for prudence to engage in but it may be the Councellor has some dignity in the law and in Consequence thereof place in his Gift which he purposes to qualify Arthur for – however it is should be glad you would explain it to me.” We do not know the answer, but we do know that in 1778 Arthur enrolled at Trinity College, Cambridge, from where he graduated BA in 1782. He was ordained as a deacon in 1781 but did not, as was common, progress to ordination as a priest a year later.

The correspondence between Arthur Iredell and his elder brother in North Carolina resumes with the peace agreement of 1782, but there has been an important change. Their Jamaican uncle Thomas Iredell, who had served as attorney-general there and become president of the island’s governing council, was badly upset by his American nephew, the holder of a Crown office, siding against his native country. His anger led to James being disinherited, so that Arthur as the next surviving son became the heir presumptive to Thomas Iredell’s Jamaican plantations. Arthur’s letters to James, while openly recognising this, remain affectionately fraternal in tone. James’s replies do not survive – he was perhaps too busy with his now-thriving business and his public affairs to maintain an outgoing letter book. Arthur did not stay on at Trinity as a fellow, as a clever man might have done. Instead his first role after graduation, obtained for him by a Macartney relative, was as a tutor to the son of Mr Crewe of Crewe Hall, a Cheshire MP. He was to spend the whole year with the family, who he liked enormously, and he thought it a particular benefit of the post that the lad he was to tutor would be under his care for at most two or three months each year – presumably he was at school the rest of the time.

However, Arthur Iredell’s mood soon changed. He began to feel life was passing him by. He met and fell in love with a well-connected young woman called Amanda Felton, but he was determined that he could not marry until he had the income to support a family. His widowed mother had also moved from Bath to London, and was in a dire financial position, while his youngest brother had left debts behind in England when he emigrated to North Carolina. Mr Crewe had the patronage of several livings, including one with an income of £1,100 p.a., but they were all occupied by young and healthy clergy. Arthur does not seem to have been considered for Trinity College livings. His mother’s cousin had been ruined when his American estates were confiscated during the war, while the Macartney patronage was restricted to the military. Thomas Iredell in Jamaica promised him £100 p.a., but the remittances rarely came – there were crop failures, floods and droughts – and by the time they did arrive were fully consumed paying off his accumulated debts. As he wrote to his brother in 1786, “The plain truth is I am as poor as a rat”.

Arthur knew that you could not live on prospects, and some doubt was thrown on just how good those prospects were. His fiancee’s uncle investigated his potential inheritance and concluded that, by the time Thomas Iredell’s debts and mortgages were repaid, there would not be sixpence left. Arthur took occasional curacies but they were all short term and ill-paid. His tutoring came to an end, and he returned to London, living in poverty and awaiting remittances that didn’t arrive. His mother’s situation went from bad to worse, and while James Iredell was willing to have her live with him, it was up to Arthur to pay for her ticket to America, for which hard cash was required. When she finally reached North Carolina James Iredell was dismayed to discover she was a hopeless alcoholic.

In the end a curacy at Guildford proved Arthur’s salvation. He made good friends there. Miss Felton’s family had insisted that their engagement should be broken off but, as he wrote to his brother in 1789, “Will you be surprised to hear that I have now formed an attachment to one no less amiable and with a further recommendation of a handsome fortune of about £9,000?”. He had also rekindled his connections with Sussex – in 1788 he was appointed one of the Freemen of Seaford, who elected the MPs for that rotten borough, and in the same year he was offered the perpetual curacy of South Malling, the patron for that living being Serjeant Kempe. He was then to be ordained priest by the Bishop of Chichester. In 1791, by means I know not, he was given the two Crown rectories of Southover and Newhaven, and finally in 1792 he was able to marry Miss Ann Shrubb. Five children were born over the following seven years, including twins baptised at Ringmer in 1793 (when he was renting the house at Ringmer Park) and two others baptised at Glynde in 1796 & 1799, when he was living in the Vicarage and apparently curate there.

In 1795 he finally inherited the Jamaican estates of his uncle Thomas, which extended to over 800 acres, produced sugar, rum and beef and were worked by over 100 slaves. In 1796 he was a founder and the first worshipful master of the South Saxon Lodge in Lewes, but halfway through his year of office he resigned to pay a visit to Jamaica. He soon returned to Glynde, and served as executor to Serjeant Kempe, selling off his estate as required by his will, with the proceeds to be divided between Kempe’s legitimate and illegitimate children. By 1801 he seems to have left the Lewes area, and by 1802 was serving as a magistrate in Jamaica. He died of a fever in Jamaica in October 1804, aged 46, but the news of his death did not reach his curate at Newhaven until January 1805. His will, written in 1798, was contested in Chancery, apparently successfully, as in 1818 it was finally proved by a relative of the plaintiff in the case, rather than by his nominated executors. His widow lived on for almost 50 years after his death, dying in Cheltenham aged 92.


  1. Priory School Chapel Trust             (by David Arnold)

Lewes is home to a building that occupies a special place in Sussex history. The Memorial Chapel in the grounds of Priory School, Mountfield Road, was created in remembrance of the 55 one-time pupils of the former Lewes Grammar School for Boys who lost their lives on active service during World War Two.

The Chapel was the inspiration of Headmaster Neville Bradshaw. In 1942, shocked at the growing toll of his school’s alumni, he determined that when the conflict was ended he would raise sufficient funds to build a suitable memorial. Little did he realise that his task would take 18 years before becoming a reality. Indeed, three weeks after the Chapel was finally dedicated on Sunday 10th July 1960 in front of 1,500 parents, pupils and Old Boys, Neville Bradshaw retired. He later reflected: “As those who had been outside the Chapel filed through to see what they had helped accomplish, I slipped quietly away. The task was finished.”

The Chapel today functions as an integral part of Priory School with the imposing building and interior being uniquely listed as an official war memorial by the Imperial War Museum, the only state school structure so recognised in Britain.

Priory School maintain the Chapel as fit for purpose school premises. But the Lewes Memorial Chapel Trust exists to ensure the building and original interior decoration are kept true to the vision of Neville Bradshaw without impinging on the school’s education budgets that are always under immense strain. An excellent example of the Trust’s role came in funding the restoration of the Chapel bell to working order last year at a cost of some £8,000.

A surveyor’s report commissioned by the Trust estimates that some £160,000 will be required to keep the Chapel in pristine condition over the next decade. A major fundraising campaign is under way to achieve this target. Anyone wishing to donate can do so via the ‘Building Appeal’ section on the Priory School Chapel website.

In co-operation with Priory School, the Trust also hope to open the Chapel on a regular basis to outside visitors.


  1. A Straying Donkey

The 12 January 1912 Sussex Express reported that Horace Dunford of Lewes had been brought before Lewes magistrates for allowing a donkey to stray in the Cliffe two days previously. The defendant, who had a barrel organ drawn by the donkey, said that he did not know how best to plead, because some boys had let the donkey out of the stable. The chairman of the bench said they would accept a plea of not guilty. Superintendent Vine told the bench that the only evidence he had to offer was of the donkey being handed over to P.C. Christmas. The bench dismissed the case.


  1. Speed Trials at Lewes Racecourse             (by Ron Gordon)

The motor speed trials held at Lewes between 1924 and 1939 are the subject of a book by Jeremy Wood, ‘Speed on the Downs: Lewes Speed Trials 1924-1939’ published in 2005 by JWFA Books, Billingshurst. Evidently a labour of love, it reports the detailed results of every event held. There is a copy in Lewes Library.

After the Great War there was renewed interest in motor racing and Brooklands, the only dedicated racing track in England, was neither suitable nor available for all the local enthusiasts. Many small clubs began to organise local speed trials, often on public roads closed for the occasion or at the seaside. The Kent & Sussex Light Car Club began organising events in 1922, but the first event thought to have been held at Lewes (exact location uncertain) was organised for Sunday 24 July 1924 by the Brighton & Hove Motor Club. On Sunday 21 September 1924 the Eastbourne Motor Club, refused permission to hold an event on Eastbourne sea front, organised it instead at the private road at the Lewes Racecourse, inviting the Kent and Sussex Light Car Club, the Brighton & Hove Motor Club and the British Motor Racing Cycle Club to join them. There were four classes for sports and racing cars up to 1,500 cc, and nine motor cycle classes. The Sussex County Herald estimated that 2,000 spectators attended the event.

Thereafter a total of 58 further events were held until the event was brought to a close by World War II. There were typically four events per year between May and September. The majority were organised by the Kent & Sussex Light Car Club, interspersed with a few in the 1920s run by the Brighton & Hove Motor Club, one each year from 1932 to 1937 organised by the Bugatti Owners Club and two events in 1938 and 1939 by the Vintage Sports Car Club.

Such events often attracted the top names in motor racing, and in 1927 Malcolm Campbell driving a Bugatti established a new record time. However, by far the most successful driver was R.J.G. Nash, who was the fastest driver in his Fraser Nash car at 17 events between 1928 and 1936. Fraser Nash cars driven by other drivers were the winners on a further five occasions. Bugatti cars won twelve events, with the other winners spread over a number of largely forgotten brands and ‘specials’. J.A. Joyce driving an AC dominated the three 1925 events, while an MG won the penultimate race in 1939. What was to prove the final course record was established in 1938 by P.R. Monkhouse in an ERA. Lady drivers were not unknown, but definitely unusual. The book’s cover features Dick Nash driving a ‘Union Special’ in 1939.

Speed on the Downs, 1935, 1936(Left) A 1935 Vauxhall Villiers; (Right) An MG at the start in 1936

Speed Trials on Downs, a 1938 competitor
A 1938 competitor

Speed on the Downs 1938, 1939
(Left) A 1938 competitor approaches the finish line; (Right) A Riley competitor at the end of the course in 1939

Sources: photographs shown are either from the book or offered for sale on ebay.


  1. Smith’s Fire, Lewes High Street, 1907

Smith's Fire, Lewes High Street, 1907, postcard

Two postcards showing the aftermath of the 19 October 1907 fire at E.P. Smith’s premises at 170 High Street (next door to Barbican House) were featured in Bulletin no.62. This third postcard shows the scene from a different perspective. It was offered for sale on ebay in May 2021, and sold after competitive bidding.


  1. Chair’s update                                 (by Neil Merchant)

In the interests of keeping you up to date on “behind the scenes” LHG activity, I hope this section will become a regular feature of the bulletin.

  • Chris Taylor has joined the committee and taken on the membership manager role. As part of this transition, you may have noticed that we’re using new email addresses, of the form xxx@leweshistory.org.uk.
  • As we slowly approach a more normal way of life, we’re giving thought to how and if we should return to face-to-face talks. We’ll be asking your opinion on this in due course. We’re also considering a couple of courses, visits and walks that should be Covid-compliant and provide a social contact dimension.
  • To ensure that we’re insured for activities like the above, we’ve joined the British Association of Local History groups, which includes such cover.
  • We helped the Lewes Priory Trust with publicity for their recent series of Symposia
  • We’re helping the Lewes Priory School Memorial Chapel Trust with awareness-raising as they seek to raise funds and recruit new trustees.


John Kay

Contact details for Friends of the Lewes History Group promoting local historical events:

Sussex Archaeological Society
Lewes Priory Trust

Lewes Archaeological Group
Friends of Lewes

Lewes History Group Facebook, Twitter


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